Unlike his whirlwind tour of the United States last year, a journey he capped with an emotional victory at the U.S. Amateur, Australian Nick Flanagan has a much more structured swing of the States in mind this time around. It’s a trek that began this past week at Bay Hill, his first PGA Tour event.
“Won’t have to get five of us in a hotel room,” Flanagan said, referring to last year’s tour of the U.S. amateur circuit that included himself, four buddies and a limited budget.
Although he missed the cut at Bay Hill (72-76), the experience showed the young Aussie what he needed to do to join the game’s elite.
“I still don’t think I’m ready to play with these guys,” said Flanagan, who roomed at Bay Hill runner-up Stuart Appleby’s house. “I’m keeping up with these guys, it’s just a matter of consistency.”
Flanagan is scheduled to play Gary Wolstenholme in next week’s Georgia Cup, a made-for-television match between the reigning U.S. Amateur and British Amateur champions, followed by the Masters.
Beyond Augusta National, he’s going home for 11⁄2 months to practice and prepare for the British Amateur. His schedule also includes the Memorial, U.S. Open and British Open.
“I’ll see how it’s going after that and decide if I want to turn pro,” Flanagan said. “I’ll probably wait until after the British Open to decide whether I’ll turn or whether I’m going to wait another year and a half or another year.”
He also is trying to adjust his schedule so he can defend his U.S. Amateur title at Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y., in August.